Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Charleston, in two parts

Part 1 - The Audition

This past Friday, I auditioned for American Idol.

It's silly, I know. The show is questionable and the artists it produces are questionable, I know. Nevertheless, I enjoy watching it. I don't really feel the need to defend myself, but I will say that there's something heart-warming about watching "normal" people with extraordinary talents be recognized for them. That's all.

I sing because it's fun and I like to entertain people, be it on a stage or in my home. I have no delusions of grandeur, but decided to audition anyway for the following reasons:

1. I wouldn't be very disappointed if I was rejected - I'm secure in my limited ability. Also, I would have an answer the next time someone said "Oh my gosh, you should totally try out for American Idol!" Not much to lose.
2. If I made it through even one round of auditions, I'd be thrilled.
3. If I were able to actually be on the show, I'd get to hone my craft, wear fun clothes, and entertain many people. Plus, Steven Tyler might say something creepy to me, and that'd be a story to tell.

Well, the audition came and went and I did not make it through to the next round. A man who had been listening to singers for 10 hours (and who looked like Bono) mustered the minimum requirement of earnestness to explain to me that I had a nice voice, but that I wasn't what they were looking for. (The whole process took 12 hours, but that's a story for another time.)

What did I learn from the American Idol audition? Absolutely nothing.

Part 2 - The Hosts

Rewind a bit. When I knew I was going to the aforementioned audition in Charleston, SC, I also knew that I did not want to get a hotel room for my sister and me. I realize that I'm 25, but the idea of paying $100ish to sleep somewhere hasn't become any easier to deal with. Therefore, I took advantage of my social media connectedness and posted on Facebook, asking if anyone knew of anyone in Charleston who might be willing to host some American Idol hopefuls. My friend, Scotland, with whom I had lived long ago in a faraway land, responded that he had some friends in Charleston and set up a line of communicated between them and me.

The result of that Facebook post was a long weekend staying in the living room of, I feel confident staying, the most hospitable home in Charleston - the home of Kevin, Janice, Tyler and Zack, all young professional twentysomethings. Beyond their home, they shared with us conversation, watermelon, card games, friends, music, french toast, and an ocean river float. Sure, we drove to Charleston for the audition, but that was, though a unique and entertaining experience, one of the least enjoyable activities of the weekend.

What did I learn from staying with Kevin, Janice, Tyler, and Zack? 1) I have friends in Charleston. 2) Hospitality for strangers is not something that mostly exists in records of ancient cultures. 3) Friendship and openness are more valuable to the human spirit than the approval of a Hollywood producer who looks like Bono. Okay, I already knew that last one, but thought it was worth mentioning anyway.

This post is a part of a synchroblog. Click here to peruse other posts on "What we might become if..."

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